Treasure in unexpected places (Photo: Kimberly Barber, 2020)

This week I’ve been investigating what happens if I expect less and feel more. I’ve been willing to look into the dark corners of imperfection with the bright light of attention and discover where useful (and even beautiful) things might be. I can waste a lot of time gratifying my fragile ego with the “pleasant enough” sound (which I am often not pleased with!), rather than being willing to go deep and learn from the excavation.

I’ve noticed too that this spirit of exploration is helpful to instil in my students. They become more willing to go on an expedition of discovery if they know that mistakes are allowed (or even welcomed) and that the treasures are often found in the dark recesses where we can be afraid to look.

To quote the late, great Richard Wagamese, and revisiting a theme from last week (“the cracks are where the light gets in”):

“When there’s a crack in my mirror, I can’t see myself as I am–all I see is the crack. The crack tells me that there is something wrong with me, that I’m not enough and that this is how others see me, too. It’s not a question of finding a better mirror. It’s about seeing beyond the crack”. (from Embers)

When we are willing to look into the deep, dark, scary corners and examine their contents–to shine light into the cracks–we might just discover some buried treasure.